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The ideas below are suggestions that I have found really work. Still, you’ve heard that a picture paints a thousand words? Well, so do the faces of the people we care for. Look at them and watch their expressions to see if what you’re trying is really working. If it isn’t, try another idea. If it does. . . .Yes! You’ve created a moment of joy.

* “Help me.” - Whatever your task may be (cleaning closets, making beds, folding laundry, vacuuming, sweeping, cleaning a room, washing windows, wiping down furniture, etc.) ask the person to help you. Let go of your expectation of how they might help, and however they help simply say, “Thank you, (name). I couldn’t have done it without you.”

*Touch - Give a back massage while you talk. Massage hands with lotion. Kiss on their forehead. Cuddly bear hugs. Gentle squeeze to their hand.

*Quality Connections -

Compliment the person when you connect. “That is a beautiful dress.” or “You have gorgeous hair.” or “I sure like that hat.” Compliments create smiles.

*Treasures - Talk about what makes that person feel valued (being a farmer or mother, maybe they loved to quilt, cook, garden, fish). Talk about subjects they know a lot about. This not only reminds them who they are, but then they are also more likely to communicate.

Jolene Brackey * * 406-883-3770

*Illusion of Choice – Give them the feeling of control. When passing out snacks, this means simply asking, “Would you like a cookie?” instead of putting a cookie in front of them without saying a word. “Would you like to sit by the window” instead of “Sit here.” People of this generation are more likely to cooperate when we start with the words, “May I,” ….“May I push in your chair?”

*Share your Life - Take a few minutes to share what is going on in your life. Even if the person cannot communicate, continue to talk to them as you would your friend. Avoid burdening them with information about deaths and funerals, money concerns, misbehaving children, and so on. Be sure the topic is positive, such as a new baby or weekend adventures.

*Walk, Walk, Walk - Everyday. Relieves stress, better night rest and so much more. . . *Reassure - Use magic words to reassure or make them feel needed, “I will be here all day if you need me.” Or “I’ll be just around the corner, if you need anything.” or “I’ve been looking all over for you.”

*Keep things a Little Messy - Give ’em opportunities to straighten up or rummage. *Hydration - Create the thirst sensation with words like,

“Wow, it sure is hot today.” or “It will feel so good to whet your whistle.” Visually show them by drinking liquids yourself. If this doesn’t work, place your hand over their hand and assist. If the person is dehydrated, they will have more confusion.

*Clean their Eyeglasses - What a big thank you you’ll receive! *Dance, be silly and sing your heart out!!!!

Jolene Brackey * * 406-883-3770

Simple Pleasures Think back when you were a child and all the simple pleasures you found: watching ants build their house, lying under the stars, running out in the rain, licking a lollipop, eating ice cream, walking through tall grass, finding a new flower, searching for beautiful rocks. We all need to relive these simple pleasures again. A simple pleasure for an older person might be those things, and it might be having their hair combed slowly, getting a back rub, getting lotion rubbed into their hands, having someone gently brush their teeth, eating with a friend -- the list is endless. Focus on simple pleasures, it’s not spending hours organizing a big party, or buying the person a whole new wardrobe. It’s all about fulfilling basic needs to the fullest. It’s as simple as cleaning someone’s glasses. You will be amazed by the gratitude you receive because now your loved one can see better. It’s truly a gift, especially in the last stages of Alzheimer’s, to understand the importance of simple pleasures. I have a vision. A vision that we will soon look beyond the challenges of this disease, and focus more of our energy on creating moments of joy. We know that we cannot create a perfectly wonderful day for someone with Alzheimer’s, but each and everyone of us can create a perfectly wonderful moment!

“People will forget what you said, People will forget what you did, But the feeling you leave them with will linger on.”


Jolene Brackey * * 406-883-3770

Wish List The following is a list of items our community needs to help our staff trigger fond memories, provide work-simulated activities, and create an environment more like home. Let us know if you would like to gift any of these items. *Please ask for details.




Bird Feeders Flower pots Clothes Line* Clothes Pins Bird Bath Wood Pile Raised Gardens* Old Garden Pump Wheelbarrow Old Lawn Mower* Old Bike Flowers Benches Wind Mill Dog House Trees* Pile of Dirt Old Plow* Hanging Plants* Watering Can Gardening Supplies* Bird Houses Patio Furniture* American Flag

Reminisce Magazines Afghans Pillows Blankets Books Chest of Drawers Broom Dust Pan Cloth napkins Quilts “Sorry we are closed” sign “Outhouse” sign Plate Racks* Hall Tree* Book Shelves Toaster Plant Stand* Office Desk Wicker Baskets* Cookie Jar* Doilies Tea Sets

Cards to mail Baby clothes Bassinet Baby dolls Life-Size Child Dolls* Set of dishes Silverware Wallets* Purses* Vegetables/Fruits* Laundry Basket Jewelry/Jewelry Box Children’s Bible Stories Colorful Towels Mechanical Items* Tackle Box* Fabrics, Yarn Safe Scissors Sewing Kit* Stuff from garage* Toy Tractors Umbrellas Fake Flowers Guideposts/Ideals Magazines Teddy Bears Poetry


Colorful Flags

Office Supplies* Old Typewriter

Pictures of: Tractors, Fish Tactile Material* Faith/Religion-oriented* Babies, Children Farm Animals/Red Barn

WeddingDress/Vale Flowers, Old Fishing Poles Stuff from kitchen* Old Aprons, Knitted mittens

Jolene Brackey * * 406-883-3770

Jolene Brackey * * 406-883-3770